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First visit to Xinzhu

Yesterday, I had my first real look at Xinzhu, which is the city nearby. I have been there before, because Jerry took me there last week, but that was with a very specific goal in mind. This time, I went there to meet a new language exchange possibility (I will write about that later, this is about my adventures on my own) and to have a look around. I am tired of buying groceries at Seven Eleven.

The first challenge was finding the bus station and boarding the right bus in the right direction (the ride itself was estimated to thirty minutes). Apart from the fact that it was necessary to have the exact fare in coins (25 TWD), everything was alright. Thanks to the authors of my previous Chinese text book, because this would have been tricky if I had not known the word for “change” in Chinese. I was able to run to a nearby office and change money and return just in time. The bus was much like buses at home (and elsewhere in the world), but for one important aspect. Every time someone pushed the button to let the driver know they wanted to alight at the next stop, a little melody was played. This sounded like nostalgic, tinny music from some forgotten NES game when a level is completed and the score comes up. Quaint.

Unfortunately, I do not know very much about Xinzhu itself, apart from some basic things. According to Wikipedia, the city has population of 400 000, which is roughly half the size of Stockholm and four times the size of Linköping. It is very difficult to tell how big a city is just by walking around in it, but perhaps you can glean something from the pictures provided below. Xinzhu is the high technology centre of Taiwan, and many technical universities are located in or near the city (the one where I will study is of course one of them).

Since I did not do much apart from familiarising myself with the environment, I do not feel there is much more to write. Instead, I will let the pictures speak for themselves (or nearly so, at least):

This is Xinzhu train station, which is where my bus stopped.

This building was my landmark for my first forays into the jungle.

This is what a typical street looks like.

This is opposite to the train station.

The landscape is often crowded, but places like these are not uncommon.

As you can see, there are no pavements, which makes traffic more of a threat.

Still, the traffic was not as bad as I had imagined it would be.

Taiwanese people like scooters.

This stream with surrounding lush plants ran like a thread trough downtown Xinzhu.

The blend of trees, bushes, concrete and Chinese still feels exotic to me.

Even though it does not show very well in the picture, the stream was teeming with fish.

Cool trees.

A whole row of them. And the ubiquitous scooters.

Here is a crowd of them waiting for green light.

This area is an excavation of…

…the old city wall and a gate in it.

Random street.

I decided to follow the stream.

Which did not turn out to be a bad idea.

Chinese characters silver on red look nice.

At night, it is probably possible to hear this tree moving around, snatching children and tourists.

Actually, there are smaller streets as well.

And some sort of semi-indoors walkway.

Nightfall in Xinzhu.

Time to head back to the train station to meet Chen Yan-wen.

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  1. Jocke’s avatar

    Härliga bilder. Verkar vara en rätt ball stad. Måste bara fråga, hur mycket längre än folk är du? Är taiwaneser så korta som jag föreställer mig att de är?


  2. Olle Linge’s avatar

    Det beror förstås på vad du föreställer dig, men det tycks som om medellängden för män är 172 centimeter och 159 för kvnnor. Jag är väl 178 eller så, så jag är märkbart längre än folk. Det -känns- som om längden är mer homogen här, det vill säga det är inte alls många Taiwaneser som är över 180 cm. Det är väl inte jättemånga i Sverige som är över 188 cm heller, men i alla fall.


  3. Xhakhal’s avatar

    Jag fortsätter spara ned de finaste bilderna, om jag fortfarande får *^_^* Trappor, murar och artificiellt skapade höjdskillnader (eller användning av naturliga), samt broar och sådant är favoriterna att titta på. Dörrar och valv också. Det märks till och med när jag får tag på en kamera, titta bara: